Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola has declared that currently, the federal government is handling over 700 different contracts which aggregate to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of over 13,000 km of roads and bridges across all the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory.

This was part of the highway development management initiative ministerial notice delivered by Fashola at the conference hall of the ministry of works and housing yesterday.

He, however, explained that in the interim, the federal government is constrained to borrow, offer tax credit and increase its revenue mobilization capacities in order to sustain this massive infrastructure renaissance.

Fashola also disclosed that the background of the Highway Development Management Initiative HDMI was an effort to mobilize private capacity, resources, and entrepreneurship into the Nigerian highway sector said it would convert roads from just social assets into assets of commercial opportunities and enterprise.

The HDMI is made up of two categories namely the Value-added Concessions VAC and the Unbundled Assets Approvals UAA.

The UAA provides an opportunity for small businesses to take advantage of the commercial opportunities that are available along the ROW while under the VAC the road pavement and entire right of way are franchised for development and management by the concessionaire.

The VAC will be rolled out in phases, and this First Phase involves 12 roads namely: Benin – Asaba (125km);  Abuja – Lokoja (193km);  Kano – Katsina (150km);  Onitsha – Owerri – Aba (161km);  Shagamu – Benin (258km);  Abuja – Keffi – Akwanga (122km);  Kano – Maiduguri (Lot 1 Kano-Shuari 100km; lot 2 Potiskum-Damaturu 96.24km )

Lokoja – Benin (270km); Enugu – Port Harcourt (200km);  Ilorin – Jebba (129km);  Lagos – Ota – Abeokuta (80km);  Lagos – Badagry (79km)

These 12 roads were carefully chosen to ensure that each of the six geo-political zones is covered. The aggregate in total to 1963.24 km which is 5.6% of the 35,000 km Federal road network.

The initial capital investments that we foresee are something in the order of NGN 1,134,690,048,000.76 and the employment potentials are an estimated 50,000+ direct jobs and 200,000+ indirect jobs.

The process started on the 17th June 2020 with legislative consultation to get parliamentary support and endorsement which I believe was successful and we are assured that if there is a need for legislative support, the response will be reasonably swift.

It was followed by a Stakeholder consultation (webinar) which held on the 25th June, 2020 with Over 1,173 participants including critical stakeholders such as legislative representatives, representatives from the executive, prospective concessionaires, road users, media and industry experts; a market sounding session was also held on the 31st August 2020 with 162 participants.

According to Fashola “In the course of this journey, we have struck strategic partnerships with some high-profile brands who have offered their services in various aspects of the project development such as KPMG, UK NIAF, Lagos Business School etc.”

“We look forward to further exploring and strengthening these partnerships and the clear terms of the relationships will be notified to the public in due course as they are important to the success that we expect.”

“As published, not only has the right of way of the 12 roads been fully gazetted, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission ICRC, as a regulatory body for concessions of this nature, has issued the Certificate of Compliance for the Outline Business Case that is necessary to commence the process.”

He said that in order to ensure competitiveness and to guarantee transparency, a procurement portal has been developed to serve as the interface with the public and manage the HDMI from Procurement to Implementation.

“Let me conclude by saying that we expect a vibrant process and a successful one that unleashes the commercial opportunities on Nigerian highways from paved roads, to clean and well-maintained highways, proper signage and route assurance signs, rest houses and commuter support for emergencies like vehicle towing and repairs.” He stated.

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